Last summer, I was on the lookout for a Desjardins bank on Saint-Laurent street when I stumbled across a cute Japanese restaurant called Ramen-Ya. My curiosity led me inside where actual Japanese people worked. I might sound anal, but I feel more comfortable when I’m in a restaurant where the cook is actually from the country. I don’t want to go to a so-called Japanese restaurant and have a Chinese waiter and cook. Please I want to practice the little I know of Japanese. The waitress was very friendly, answering my questions on how long they were open as I had never heard of it. She said they’ve been open for just 3 months. I ordered some takoyaki to go, fried octopus balls made with batter. A popular snack during Japanese summer festivals, I always dreamt of having some. While waiting for my takoyaki, I was offered a cup of rice tea. I had 6 in a small box with its sauce, they were very cute. I was scared I wouldn’t like it because it didn’t smell good and I am sensitive to odour. I had one; it was squishy but delicious, I wish I had more of them. Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture, I do remember taking one but I didn’t save it when I switched phones.
A couple of weeks later, I decided to return to Ramen-Ya during my work lunch break and I biked there (yay for bixi!). I sat at the counter and was served some rice tea again but this time, I had an adorable kettle to myself, typically Japanese. Extra points well earned! ❤
I ordered a sesame pancake as an appetizer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was cut in 4 equal pieces and served with soy sauce to add some flavor. Very crispy and not as salty as I thought it might be since it was made with sesame. The soy sauce was a perfect side, though it was hard to dip the piece in the small bowl as it was crispy even when dipped.
I ordered a ramen bowl, which is a traditional Japanese noodle soup that contains diverse ingredients, mostly vegetables. Mine was a chashu, roasted pork which contained a boiled egg, green onions, seaweed, sesame seeds, mushrooms, that’s all I can remember. You have the choice between either a shoyu (soy) or a miso to flavor the broth which is either meat or fish-based. I choose the latter one but spicy, less salty and it’s darker making your soup look less clear. It was different than the ramen I’ve had so far at Sumo Ramen and Ichiban Ramen. The presentation was lovely and the egg which I thought they forgot to add was hidden under my pork. It felt healthier, didn’t taste very salty, but it didn’t lack any taste. The miso added a tangy taste and the pork that was medium cooked tasted very good surprisingly as I love my meat cooked well, almost burnt. The noodles are made of wheat, they were good but noodles are always good, except some the crispy ones sometimes.
The restaurant is small with around 20-30 seats. A nice place if you want to have lunch by yourself as they’re many seats at the counter and lots of high chairs and tables. I love that there’s small curtains (typically Japanese) on the way to the restroom. Prices are fairly decent, expect 20-25 dollars for a full course.It gets an 8.5/10 simply because Kazu is the best and I will post a review this summer hopefully.
4274 Saint-Laurent, Montreal, QC
H2W 1Z3 514-286-3832